Srinagar: A 14-year-old boy along with his three friends allegedly gang-raped his nine-year-old stepsister in Kashmir’s Baramulla, said the police on Wednesday. When police recovered the decomposed body of the girl, they found her eyes had been gouged out and the body was burnt with acid. The body was recovered last Sunday from a forest near the girl’s home in Uri, said the police. The child’s stepmother was found to have instigated her 14-year-old son to commit the crime. Mir Imtiyaz Hussain, SSP Baramulla, reportedly said, “We started the investigation immediately.”

A Special Investigation Team was set up to probe the motive behind the crime. Senior police Hussain said, “It was found that the stepmother had been nursing a grudge against the non-local wife of her husband and her children.” An interrogation with the victim’s stepmother revealed that the girl’s father allegedly spent more time with her mother rather than with her stepmother. Also, among the children, the victim was the closest to her father which led to jealousy among the siblings.

Hussain said, “The woman conspired to kill her stepdaughter. She took her to the nearby jungle where she asked her 14-year-old son to rape the girl.” The police officer added, “The girl was gang-raped at the instance of her stepmother and in her presence.” Hussain stated that the stepmother strangled the girl while the boy hit her head on the head with an axe. “After that, one of the accused brought acid. A 19-year-old man gouged the child’s eyes out with a sharp knife and poured acid on her body,” stated Hussain.

The body was then dumped in the bushes and was covered with pine twigs and branches. “The axe and knife have been recovered on information from the accused,” stated the police officer. On the site where the incident took place, a plastic can containing acid was found.

In January this year, an eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal community was kidnapped, drugged and kept in the temple managed by Sanji Ram. She was repeatedly drugged and gangraped. The investigation into the Kathua rape case stated that the sole motive behind the brutal gangrape and murder of the eight-year-old girl was to drive away the Muslim Bakarwal community from the Hiranagar tehsil.